"It's My Life” video discussed issues of responsibility, maturity
An assembly for juniors, organized by Assistant Principal Linda Wanner, was held in the auditorium Nov. 10 during first block. A similar assembly for sophomores planned for third block was canceled due to scheduling conflicts, according to Assistant Principal Suzanne Harvey.
At the beginning of the assembly, Wanner outlined 12 "Life's Rules,” concepts she believed her students should understand. "You will not make $40,000 a year right out of high school,” "life is not fair—so get used to it” and "the world won't care about your self-esteem; the world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself” were three of the lessons.
Wanner made the 12 rules to help her students comprehend the work involved in becoming responsible. "There is no simple and easy way to grow up,” she said. She also expressed concern for the future of the class of 2006. "You are going to be an adult. The 40-year-old that you become is the 40 you're creating for yourself right now,” Wanner said. A large portion of her speech focused on how high-school performance will affect students' futures. "You want to work very hard, because your semester grades are sent to your college, your employer, and they can determine your future,” she explained.
Wanner felt that it was her responsibility to connect with her class. "I like to get together with the students,” Wanner explained. "It's important for our administration to present some ideas and values to the class as a whole.”
Following Wanner's speech, the assembly featured "It's My Life,” a film produced by the Pepsi Company, which offered the film to Blair. "Because we sell their products, they tell us the film's availability, and we use it when it's available,” Wanner said. The film featured clips of conflicted young people, their friends and family and popular culture, including trendy music and clips from the television show "Eight Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter.”
"It's My Life” also featured personal testimonials from youth who struggled against adversity. "Ultimately, the decisions I made at 15 affected me for the rest of my life,” cried one young adult, whose attempts to become popular led to experimentation with hard drugs. The film used these testimonials to discuss issues like responsibility, consequences and staying positive during rough times. One testimonial from a football player unable to play because of leukemia examined the best options for someone when the situation is out of his or her control. "Staying positive and optimistic is the only thing to do,” the football player explained.
Though teachers who watched the film agreed that it contained a good message, students were skeptical of its effect. "Most kids get this education from home, from friends, from mentors—only some comes from school,” said social studies teacher Kevin Moose. Unlike Moose, junior Jackson Vassighi said that "it's frustrating to believe that we all have to come down here to watch something that says ‘try harder, be responsible' when we already know what they're trying to teach us.”
While many students paid attention to assembly, some Blazers avoided it all together. "I slept through the whole thing,” said junior Eric Camphor. The film also reminded Blazers of past assemblies. "Didn't we see the same assembly last year?” asked junior Lee Shields.
Even though some students were reluctant to listen, stage crew director John Kaluta believed that some message got through to them. "It's real easy to sit back and mock the film,” Kaluta explained, "but the students sat and listened; I think somewhere along the line they actually learned something.”
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